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Truth #1: Student Debt Holders Have the Potential to Be A Powerful Political Force
Based on polling conducted by Data for Progress in late July, student debt holders are currently somewhat less enthusiastic about voting in the midterms. Only, forty-two percent of student debt holders report being “very” enthusiastic about voting in November, compared with 48 percent of non-student debt holders. Our research shows that if student debt holders matched the enthusiasm of non-student debt holders, it could determine control of the House of Representatives.
Truth #2: The Student Loan Trap Affects Graduates and Non-Graduates Alike
Our research shows that one in five adults are currently responsible for paying off a student loan. Perhaps surprisingly, more than half of individuals over the age of 26 who were responsible for paying off a student loan do not have a college degree, according to the Cooperative Congressional Election Studies (CCES) 2016 survey.
Forty-five percent of those who did not complete a degree defaulted on a loan within 12 years, compared to 8 percent of bachelor’s degree recipients, according to the Beginning Postsecondary Students survey from the National Center for Education Studies.
Truth #3: The Student Loan Trap Affects Americans of All Ages — Not Just Young People
One in five people responsible for paying off a student loan is over the age of 50. Forty-seven percent of voting-eligible adults are over 50.
Truth #4: The Student Loan Trap Affects Americans In Every Part of the Country
Student debt holders are spread throughout the country, and the student debt burden weighs particularly heavily on midwestern and plains states.
Truth #5: The Student Loan Trap Harms People Of All Racial and Ethnic Groups
Sixty-four percent of individuals paying off a student debt are white, 17 percent are black, 11 percent are Latino and 7 percent are another race. Among individuals paying off a student loan without a degree who are over 26, 59 percent are white, 22 percent black, 14 percent Latino and 5 percent are another race, according to Cooperative Congressional Election Studies 2016 data. Among individuals paying off a loan without a degree over the age of 26 and with an annual family income under $50,000, 55 percent are white, 28 percent are black, 13 percent Latino and 4 percent of another race.
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Student debt impacts millions of people, of all ages.
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